Central Park In The Dark By Charles Ives: Popular Music

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Popular music today thrives on sampling and remixing. Sampling is when an artist or composer takes audio clips from another source and works them into his or her own composition, while remixing is taking the essential parts of a song and “re-mixing” them to create a new sound. Simply by turning on the radio, we are introduced to musical compositions with “borrowed” bits of sound. Rappers may take the basic beat from another song and layer their own lyrics on top of it, and DJs weave together hours-long mixes of dozens of tracks specifically chosen to flow into one another seamlessly to keep crowds dancing all night long. Some may see the practices of sampling and remixing as copyright infringements, while others view it as simply another expression of musical creativity.
Sampling is essentially the high-tech cousin of musical borrowing or musical quotation, a practice that has existed for centuries. Perhaps one of the most well-known “musical borrowers” was Charles Ives, who worked snippets of popular, classical songs into his many compositions. Ives began composing in his teenage years, and went on to study music at Yale University. Though his instructor wanted him to stay within the realm of “traditional classical music”, Ives’ pieces were anything but traditional (“Charles Edward Ives: Biography”, 2014). His 1906 composition, titled Central Park in the Dark, is a prime example of musical borrowing. Described as a “picture in sounds” by Charles Ives himself, Central Park in the Dark meant to replicate the calm sounds of the night in Central Park, with the raucous music and activity of the city drifting through the air (Ledin 1976). Near the end of the piece, the popular ragtime song “Hello! Ma Baby” begins to mingle with the ...

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...g new music that is vastly different from what they are used to. Ken Anderson, a lawyer who has represented a number of artists and groups in cases involving sampling, says that “(people think) ‘there’s something that smacks of thievery in pushing a button rather than moving your fingers on an instrument. But I think that’s simply culture shock’” (Snowden).
Closely related to sampling, the practice of remixing is taking
Sampling, a modern descendant of musical borrowing or musical quotation, has allowed musicians to freely and easily experiment with new sounds – in theory, that is. Preceded by musical quotation and perhaps started by Ottorini Respighi, the process and technique of incorporating outside audio into a song or composition has undergone many evolutions to get to the streamlined digital sampling programs that can easily fit on a musician’s hard drive.

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